This Article is From Apr 03, 2015

'Look at Your Own History and Relax a Bit', Says Jagdish Bhagwati on Christian Response to Attacks: Full Transcript

'Look at Your Own History and Relax a Bit', Says Jagdish Bhagwati on Christian Response to Attacks: Full Transcript

On The Buck Stops Here, an exclusive interview with renowned economist Jagdish Bhagwati, who has joined the debate on church attacks in India. He also took on former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro saying his article was self-contradictory. Mr Bhagwati called the statements on ghar wapasi by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as "bigoted" and that neither the Prime Minister nor he could defend such remarks.

Below is the full transcript:

NDTV: Time now for our top political story on The Buck Stops Here tonight. The issue of whether India's Christian community has reason to feel safe and insecure has become an international talking point. This after a spate of attacks on Christian institutions, including churches that even led the PM to express his deep concern. The issue has also got reinforced as some of India's prominent Christians have spoken out. It started with one of India's most respected top cops Julio Ribeiro, writing an Op-ed in which he described himself as threatened, unwanted, a stranger in his own country. A couple of weeks later you had one of the top educationists of the country, the principal of Mumbai's Sophia College joining the conversation. Dr. Amrit wrote about how she was shaken in her belief that India is fundamentally a law-abiding country. Now one of the most respected and influential economists, public intellectual and thinker of our time Prof Jagdish Bhagwati, has waded in on the debate. Writing in Mint earlier today, Prof. Bhagwati dismissed these fears as baseless and called them a product of a fevered imagination. What makes him think so? Joining us now for this Buck Stops Here exclusive is Prof Jagdish Bhagwati, joining us today for the programme from New York, a pleasure as always to have you on the programme. What made you, Prof Bhagwati, who spoke so strongly against Hindutva hardliners the last time we met in India, decide this entire narrative that the Christians of India are vulnerable and feeling insecure, that this is a product of a fevered imagination? What makes you conclude this?

Jagdish Bhagwati: Thank you for having me on your programme again and I enjoyed it last time. And defiantly, at that time in January when you interviewed me, I had come out very defiantly against the Prime Minister not intervening immediately to allay all these fears of several minorities and I think I had an impact, in the sense, that the Prime Minister did go on and as you pointed out, to make statements like, like the one he has made in Kerala to reassure the Christian community. Even if objectively it did need to be done, leadership requires that if some community is actually upset and worried, that you go ahead and reassure them, because that's the only way to function in a democracy. Of course some people would say we shouldn't do that because there is no objective truth to what's being assured, but that's not the way you manage public policy. And I was delighted that the Prime Minister went ahead and did what he did. But the reason why I wrote this particular piece, which you referred to in Mint yesterday, was because I think objectively speaking that's what I am addressing now. Objectively speaking I have looked at all the assertions by the people you mentioned and particularly Mr Ribeiro who is a widely regarded and respected figure. When I saw that he was saying that he now felt he was on a hit list and I could not believe what I was reading. When I looked at this very lovely article by Rupa Subramanium, a widely respected economist cum columnist cum reporter, and she is cited in several places like New York Times and etc, and she had looked at all the incidents which were actually listed as the ones, which in Delhi show that in fact the Christian Churches were being attacked, Christian schools were being attacked, and if you read that article which was at First Post, it was impossible to conclude that there was anything really anti-Christian in all of this. Like if I, passing by a church, throw a stone through the window. That would be vandalism, right? And it could also be an attack on a particular Christian church. But she found in the cases, which were being investigated, you know 6 of them I think, in fact there was no evidence for that. In one case people were playing ball and the ball had gone through a window. In another case there was a dare by people who were drunk and to do something like vandalism like this and get away with it. And so all of this has been documented. I am not saying that probably there is something, but you take the number of temples in India, the number of mosques in the city of Delhi itself. They are far greater in number and far greater numbers of attacks of burglary etc here, so I felt that really one needed to bring some sanity into this discussion and to really point these things out and say that look, the principle of which we have of monkey see or rather, monkey say something, we repeat it. So if we keep repeating again and again that the Christians are under attack then a lot of Christians, good-hearted Christians will begin to believe it. Then Mr Ribeiro, who is a very sane and much admired figure, says he is on a hit list and in the same says that Hindus are now doubting his Christianity and his loyalty and so on. Then he actually ends his article by saying how a number of people who came up to him and recognise him somewhere, is this, near Lonavala or something and said 'Oh Mr. Ribeiro you are the great', that is contradicting himself. How come people go and say such nice things to him if Hindus are turning against him? So I just wanted to introduce in a little contrary point of view, so that we would have a reasonable debate and argument, as against simply repetition of fears which becomes self believable.

NDTV: Prof Bhagwati you have framed your argument, now allow me to be a little contrary with you. You mentioned Rupa Subramanium's article, but the Delhi Police has not yet conclusively given its verdict on whether there is a larger pattern here. Many of the cases are still under investigation. I put it to you that when attacks on churches take place, in a larger political context, where issues like conversions, issues, slogans like Ghar Vapsi, where the Home Minister is saying there should be a national debate on whether we need conversions at all; when the political noise surrounding certain incidents are so loud and so inflammable sometimes, then that act of violence, which may have seen as a law and order problem at some other point, is being co-related by the Christian community to the surround sound, the noise around conversions for example, the slogans for Ghar Vapsi for example. Do you believe that those slogans are enhancing the security legitimately of the Christian community?

Jagdish Bhagwati: You see, to take in to account the fact that the Christian community itself is into conversion, now so is the Muslim community. Its very interesting that Dr Ambedkar, who is one of our most revered constitutional lawyers as you know, that when he decided to go and have the Dalits who are oppressed people, change their religion, why they did not pick Islam or Christianity? He picked instead Buddhism. Because Buddhism is not into conversion in the way in which these two religions are. So my point of view is that it is crazy on the part of the people who are committed to convert all the time to say you cannot convert. There are a few crazy people on the Hindu side who feel that we should re-convert, but how much does it amount to, very little. On the other hand if you take the entire history of the church you see, in fact, massive attempts at conversion and actually it is interesting, I would urge these people who are siding on the Christian side, because many of them are not, have not read anything in my judgement. Just last week, go back to 1492 in Spain. There it was the Catholics coming in from the North who basically expelled the Jews and the Muslims, ending 500 years of tolerance on the part of the Muslim rulers. This is very well established and last week alone the Spanish Government said the decadence of those Jews who were expelled, will be able to come back to Spain under certain conditions. Now I urge these Christian leaders to go and look at their own history of conversions and so on and say look we are into conversion, often forced conversion historically. Here are a few Hindus, because Hindus are not into conversion in any substantial way at all, and if some people want to re-convert or convert, that doesn't amount of a hill of beans in my opinion. I would just clarify and say look at your own history and relax a bit. If you think you can convert why do you object to other people saying they can convert, when I don't believe in Hinduism that converts? Hinduism in my view is inclusive not exclusive.

NDTV: Well Prof Bhagwati, Hinduism has not been inclusive in terms of its entrenched caste system, which has forced many people out of it. So lets first acknowledge the caste hierarchies that have created inequities, we have to acknowledge those.

Jagdish Bhagwati: No, no, that's a separate issue Barkha. Hinduism is written with caste structure, absolutely and this is why the Dalits, that were oppressed at the very bottom and which Dr. Ambedkar was working for, they naturally have to accept. So this is why I am not in favor of people who talk about Hinduism, so to great virtues and so on, while referring to the Vedas and so on, because that is theory at the high end. If you really want to see how Hinduism has worked you have to go exactly, as you were saying, to the sociology of it at the village level and this is why Ambedkar did not want village autonomy. Because to him that meant that all caste structure would continue to be dominant, and so I think, you know, we have no quarrel on that. I am not extolling the virtues of Hinduism, far from it. What I am saying on the issue of conversion, I don't think that a religion, which is known for centuries of forced conversion, torture, I mean you just have to read the history of Christianity and of Islam, I am giving you a balanced view, but I am simply saying the churches are and where ever you have a Catholic church, we have a very mixed bag and therefore I don't think my Christian friend should really go off into saying you, you cannot convert, but I can. That doesn't make sense to me.

NDTV: Allow me to push you a little more on this. When the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, whom that name should mean something to you because all the editorials say that Modi needs Bhagwati not Bhagwat, so that name should mean something to you, when Mohan Bhagwat says that people who come back to Hinduism, reconvert to Hinduism, is like 'Home Coming', its not like conversion its a 'Home Coming', it's Ghar Vapsi. This metaphor that he used in one of the speeches was to draw an analogy with the thief and say that if somebody steals our material, Chori ka Maal he called it, and we take it back that can't be called conversion. Do you not believe that these kind of statements add to the apprehensions, add to the insecurities? How do we divorce Mohan Bhagwat's statements on Ghar Vapsi and the larger fear within the Christian Community?

Jagdish Bhagwati: But you have to. I mean there are cockeyed people everywhere. I don't think the Prime Minister or I or anybody or you for that matter can defend statements like that because they are bigoted statements, like you know, people should return to Hinduism. I mean like I think I am happy to condemn it, then I am glad people are contrasting what I stand for with what Mr Bhagwat stands. I have read also the speech from which he has widely quoted. I have heard it, it's in Hindi of course. And some of the statements are taken out of context. It's not as bad as it sounds much like rap music, where people says the music is not as bad as it sounds. But the point is you really have to free, you have to condemn it and in my opinion, when the Prime Minister came and reassured the Christian community there is nothing here which represents government policy. If the government goes into such a policy then of course I'll be on your side, but that is not, I mean I can't, people can't be responsible for every crazy thing that is made by somebody, no matter how influential he might be.

NDTV: I was just going to say it's not somebody, it's the RSS chief, and RSS is seen as the ideological mentor of the BJP, so it's not just anybody. And I must ask you to take a position on this Ghar Vapsi slogan. Do you agree with this Ghar Vapsi call, do you believe that if somebody comes back to Hinduism, reconverts, it's, what do you think of Ghar Vapsi? What does that phrase mean to you?

Jagdish Bhagwati: No, What he says, religions like Islam for example, they were the product of invasions, right, who came in. Presumably you had Hindus before that or Aryans, whatever you want to call them. So in that sense eventually he is thinking of Ghar Vapsi, but this is not the way to think about modern India or about our history. I would certainly be against the notion of Ghar Vapsi. I mean people have different religions and you know, if people go from one religion to another, and a guy who has lost some people says you have to return to my religion, that is what Ghar Vapsi means and it seems to me as a ridiculous way to think about the issue. I mean you know people are free to think about the issues of religion and so on. So I don't think that this is some fact that he is an RSS chief. I mean look, there are all kinds of people who are into things like, do I take against the Christian Church, I mean I admire the Christian community, but how many people are aware that the church has been actually and the Catholic Church has been defending assault on young boys, right, pederasts basically? So do I say look, Catholics should continuously denounce that and why is the Archbishop joining in the condemnation and so on and so forth? That is into petty problems. I am not interested in who says what, or what his or her position is. I think we really need to relax a bit and say look these are unacceptable statements on the part of religious leaders. And every community; there all kinds of problems with religions in my judgement. I am a secular person.

The Buck Stops Here with Yogendra Yadav

NDTV: Moving on now to our other big newsmaker on The Buck Stops Here tonight, from Jadish Bhagwati in New York to Yogendra Yadav in Delhi. He is going to our next newsmaker on a day when many people are lamenting, what some are calling the theater of the AAPsurd in the AAP.  Yogendra Yadav joins us now after a weekend of high drama. I think what many people want to know is what's next? Will a new party be born from the AAP? Will Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan lead that initiative? Thank you so much Yogendraji, the last time when we were speaking you confessed to often asking yourself what you were doing in politics. Given the kind of weekend you had, I think I must ask you to begin with, do you plan to stay in politics, or do you believe it was one big mistake?

Yogendra Yadav: Barkha, if anything these developments have strengthened my resolve. Politics is a Yog Dharma and I asked myself over the last two days, what do I want from life? You know in a sense my life so far was a liberation of what I have done in the last two years. And if there had been setbacks of the kind that we have witnessed, the kind of things that you called absurd, drama of the AAPsurd and things of that kind, that only means that some of us would now have to move forward and demonstrate that actually some of those ideals that we started with, in the Ram Leela Maidan, those ideals are realisable. Otherwise we would end up confirming the same suspicions. Politics is dirty, everyone in politics does these things; nothing is possible. And if anything these developments have given me stronger reasons to stay and to take it forward. It is now almost a moral responsibility, otherwise we become partners to thinking what I always wanted to argue against, namely that politics is dirty, politics is impossible.

NDTV: But am I hearing you then confirm Yogendraji that there will be a new political party that is born from this churn, because it seems that there is no space left for you and Prashant Bhushan and Medha Patkar to stay on in Arvind Kejriwal's AAP. So are we seeing a split, the AAP is heading for a split, are all of you joining forces to create a new party, what are we going to see in the next few weeks?

Yogendra Yadav: Barkha, what we are witnessing is something very sad. We set out to become a national alternative politics and we are being reduced to a regional political party of the city State of Delhi. We came for Swaraj, it looks like the Raj of one person, we came to demand Lok Pal, to bring in Lok Pal everywhere and we are kicking out our own Lok Pal. Yes it looks sad, it looks low, the possibilities look very dim, but to my mind that's the, in the last 3-4 days and in fact over the last one month we have received innumerable messages from volunteers, supporters, sympathesisers saying stick in, take it forward. We have to keep that original spirit alive and that is what keeps me going through. Whatever looks like the situation from outside, that support is something, honestly I didn't deserve so much love and affection that I have had over the last one month. And that's what I need to remember. What is the way forward? I am not thinking of a new political party, I am a member of a political party. Arvind can say that he wants to form a political party, as he did last week, I am not going to say anything of that kind. The issues that Prashant Bhushan and I raised are not personal issues and therefore Prashant and I sitting here in Delhi. Noida should not be taking decisions. What we have thought of tentatively, we have been speaking to friends in the last 48 hours and we thought let other volunteers come in, so we are inviting, on the 14th of April, Dr. Ambedkars birthday, we are inviting volunteers, supporters from different parts of the country, a select few, not Jan Sabha and asking them 'what do you think is the way forward?' I am going to ask the same question as you have posed to me, I'll pose it to them. I would have some of my personal opinions, which I'll share, I am happy to share those. But in the last instance it cannot be personal decision of Prashant and Yogendra, it has to be a decision of the volunteers whose voice we were articulating.

NDTV: But surely there is no space left in AAP. You say you are a member of the party, but as far as the party's leadership is concerned, the party's leadership would argue as far as the majority of those who have voted on this decision are concerned, you lost the popular vote. So by which strength, by which argument can you continue to remain relevant within the AAP, as it exists today?

Yogendra Yadav: Barkha, I don't want to get into the question of vote, because I think that is a very, very disputed thing and if it was indeed 250 versus 50 what is it that prevented my friends from holding a secret vote; what is it that prevented them from even allowing discussion on this motion; what is it that prevented them from allowing Lok Pal to come and watch what was happening; what is it that prevents them from releasing the list of those 248? So forget it, well let me say it at the moment, maybe we were in minority, being in minority doesn't mean being thrown out. Great leaders, Jyoti Basu was in minority in his own party on the question that concerned his Prime Ministership. So being in minority should not be an issue. The real issue is, is there a space for dissent? And unfortunately what we are witnessing looks nothing different from a Stalinist purge. This is exactly the theater that is being played out, reminds me of Animal Farm again and again. Feels like creating some chapters again from Animal Farm. That's basically the game that is being played out, and if leads to our expulsion, which appears to be the case, some kind of a inquiry would take place where the conclusion would be pre-determined and then you know what's going to happen. That's not what we thought a month ago. Initially we thought victory makes many people magnanimous and I thought Arvind would be able to come out of that insecurity that he has had, right from the beginning. But then his mood was different after the election. I thought him throwing us out of the PAC would be enough, that clearly wasn't enough, so it means that would lead towards expulsion. But I will think of anything beyond this party only after I am expelled. Because this party is not the property of some leaders, this is an unusual party. This was not invented in Nagpur. This party has come out from a genuine democratic upsurge from this country. And no one should allow this party to be captured.

NDTV: You just said that Arvind was insecure vis-a-vis you. I ask you Yogendraji why would Arving Kejriwal, who was clearly the winning face of the AAP, even if it is not the property of one person, he was defiantly the vote galvaniser, the politics was kind of rallied behind him, so the individual seem to have always come in a sense before the party, why would Arvind Kejriwal be insecure about you?

Yogendra Yadav: I would be able to answer that. Everything that you said is right. He is the leading face, he is the vote galvaniser, he is the one who is connected to the people, and he has contributed enormously to this extraordinary mandate, all that you say is right. I would also go ahead and say, my own self even today as I speak, as I disagree with him, my sense even today is that he would offer an honest government to Delhi, as honest as he possibly can. But why does he feel insecure? I don't know. If you watch the video of the meeting, which is edited and so on; but does that video look to you like a video of someone who has won election or someone who has lost an election? I don't know. I am no psychologist, you would know better.

NDTV: I am not a psychologist either and I think a lot of people are just trying to make sense of this meltdown, but this video you speak about, Prashant Bhushan today said and you have confirmed it, that the video was edited before it was released. What is it that people did not get to see that happened inside? Because when you say it was edited obviously something was left out. So what are you saying was left out?

Yogendra Yadav: I can think of a few things. I think right in the beginning Arvind said that I do not want this speech to go out therefore I have not allowed any TV channel because this must remain within the four walls of this particular meeting. If you wanted it to remain within four walls why release it on Youtube? Number two there are interruptions in that speech. Arvind almost incites a mob and then the mob, which is unfortunately the MLA's of the party, respond, they shout slogan gaddaro ko bahar karo. They rush towards Prashant Bhushan. All that has been enacted. I guess that has been edited out. And then towards the end, just after Arvind's speech, there is that bit where, before also there is that bit where Ramzan Chaudhary protests, says the other side must get a hearing, you cannot put allegations and not hear the other party. At which point he is dragged out of the room and outside the room he is kicked. And I went there. I am personally a witness to how he was being treated. All that is probably not there on the video. And finally there is that bit where Gopal Rai is made Chair of the meeting as Arvind says I am very busy, I have a meeting, I have to go out. Gopal Rai is the Chair and I am appealing to Gopal Rai, please let's have a discussion; Arvind has said something; can we get a time to respond. He is sitting like a statue. I said, Gopal Bhai can't you look at me and can we not have a discussion? He says, give it to me in writing, I said, look I will give it to you in writing but please stop this proceeding for one minute while I write it. And this is when Manish Sisodia is going on doing the count of votes. Just look at it. The person who is introducing a resolution is himself is also taking votes. There is no one to second that proposal and he is going ahead to say, kitne log paksh me hain, kitne log vipaksh me hain? hath khade etc, and I am asking Gopal Rai to please end this absurdity. Yes we will give it to you in writing, please entertain this but this can happen only if you stop what's going on. All this must be on tape and I think the media, now that some bits have been released and because we were prevented from carrying anything that could possibly record, in fact we were told not even to take our pens inside, even they were kept out, so they have the only evidence. So it's only fair that the entire evidence is presented.

NDTV: You are saying that your phones were confiscated before you entered the meeting. Where did you leave your phones?

Yogendra Yadav: Yes, yes, I am not revealing anything new. Every single member was asked to deposit their phone, even their pens, anything that could possibly record were kept out in a locker. I am sure they will not deny this. So there was no possibility of anyone recording the proceeding. Clearly they had something in their minds. And when you ask the Lok Pal not to come to the meeting and you say to him this may lead to confrontation, clearly you have something on your mind. Clearly something was planned in advance where you wanted to ensure that Lok Pal should not be able to watch it. This is what happened.

NDTV: Yogendraji, your, I don't know whether to call him your former colleague or your present colleague, but your fellow traveler till some point, Ashutosh writes an open letter to you and among the questions he raises to you, is it not a fact that you Yogendra Yadav were desperate to contest the Assembly elections in Haryana and when Arvind differed with you, you became bitter? Ashutosh goes on to suggest that you talk of swaraj today but you didn't talk of swaraj, you didn't ask for a vote and were adamant about the party contesting in Haryana and you being made the lead face to that. So please respond to that criticism.

Yogendra Yadav: Three inaccuracies. The first charge is that when I was made the in-charge of Haryana I did not get any democratic gratification. This is false and can be verified with Ashabandh Gupta who is today the Convener of Haryana. The offer was made to me, Arvind in his typical style said, Yogendraji bus abhi neeche announce karwadete hain. I said, no we have to consult everyone. He said, abhi Ashabandh se phone kardete hain, he will say that he has consulted everyone. I said, no he will not say that he has consulted everyone. He will have to consult. I delayed the decision by 72 hours, every district convener was consulted, 13 of them voted for me, 6 of them voted against me and that is when the decision was taken. Two, did I want elections to be contested in Haryana? Yes, indeed I did. Did I not allow vote for that? Indeed I wanted a vote. There is an electronic record if you want to check that. The record is that 15 member of NE voted for elections to be contested in Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, everywhere. Jharkhand and Maharashtra and only 4 voted against it. This is on record. Your channel can get copies if you want it. Three, did I become bitter after this, after Arvind's decision not to contest in Haryana? No, in fact we had majority decision of NE. We could have insisted on that advised my Haryana colleagues. Yes, majority doesn't mean that you should enforce it. We will go to Arvind and try to persuade him. Arvind said, you may have majority, I will not come and campaign for you at all in this election. And I advised my Haryana colleagues instead and said, look, if Arvind is not coming to campaign for us then let's not contest; this is not done; we have to live in the same house; we may have serious differences, but let us live with those differences; this can be confirmed by several independent witnesses, as many as your channel has space for.

NDTV: Now Yogendraji, one of the AAPsurd aspects to this entire theater is also the role of the secretly recorded conversation. You said that you were a victim to it while talking to a journalist and Ashutosh said that they confronted you with that conversation. Then Arvind was secretly recorded describing you and Prashant in not so flattering terms saying, ye kameene log hain inko laat marke bahar nikaldena chaiye, and so on. I ask you what is going on? What is this subterfuge that is both being used against you and against Arvind? Is nothing private between two politicians when they speak?

Yogendra Yadav: Barkha I absolutely share what you are saying and if you are implying that I had a hand in the second one, please get the facts right. Prashantji actually said it in the press conference. He is such a straightforward person. This person, the person who recorded it came and gave it to Prashantji and said you know you should hear it. Prashantji heard it and he felt very bad about it and then it was suggested that we should release it in our press conference. Prashantji said, no I don't want to do it. He consulted me and I said, no we shall not do this, it is his recording, he can do what he like with it and please remember, this person who has done it is, was, very close to Arvind. I mean that's why Arvind would speak to him, why would he speak to anyone else if it was a trap? So it was his decision, he went ahead, he broadcasted it, why drag Prashant and me into it? We have not done anything of this kind and we would not do it. I absolutely am with you that these things should not be recorded and the culture has become such Barkha, these days, I mean honestly whenever I am sitting in a meeting of seven people, I feel I am being recorded. So unfortunately those relaxed moments in public life, where you can sit down, have a big laugh with our friends, you know, talk something about yourself, maybe about others, those simple pleasures of ordinary life are over. So it is sad, but what have we done to make it worse Barkha, tell us?

NDTV: But do you accept the criticism that if the AAP looks bad today in the eyes of those who have such high hope of it, that in a dispute not know one side is entirely blameless? So, do you believe that you and Prashant have also made mistakes; that Prashant has called Arvind dictatorial, a ruthless dictator? You have spoken a Stalinist purge, is there anything that you and Prashant could have done differently? Do you have any regrets?

Yogendra Yadav: In any such things, regrets dominate one's thoughts and you always think of what could have happened. The simple fact Barkha, is that for almost one year, beginning June, July last year this had reached a situation last year which looked impossible. But it's my firm belief that when it seems it's a dead end there must be three more options left after that. And I kept saying to Prashantji in all fairness, I mean Prashantji had concluded probably by September, October, that this is impossible situation, we cannot possibly work in such an unprincipled environment. And I kept saying to Prashantji, Prashantji for the sake of volunteers, you know this is not just about the ten characters here, it's about thousands of people who have invested their hopes in politics for the first time. It's very easy to destroy something, but very, very, very hard to build it. And I said let's try, and in all fairness Prashantji agreed. He wanted, as now everyone knows, Prashantji wanted to go public about what kind of candidates we had sponsored and I said no, not when our team is contesting such major election. Everyone told us that you are a fool. After the election you will be thrown out. Jaise doodh me se makhi ko nikal diya jata hai and even then I had said no matter what happens after election, before election we cannot let this team down. We did that, we tried everything possible, and usually victories are followed by magnanimity, usually at the end of it, you know, so I thought you know, Arvind would, after such a big victory, Arvind would be able to say alright, now I know what happened, let's move forward. Then came the PAC thing. And I thought, all right maybe PAC may be the only serious problem. Then comes NE and now we hear there would be expulsion from the party. So really we are not taking any initiatives. If there is anyone is driving the script in the last two months it's not Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav.

NDTV: Last question to you, you know Mukul Kesavan wrote this piece where he argued that what has happened shows that there is no room for peers in the AAP, no room for equals, but he also makes a very interesting point that you and Prashant Bhushan also attach yourself to the idea of Kejriwal. That in some ways you are also hampered by the fact, and you know that there, as someone who observed politics before you became a politician, that winnability is key and that when you and Prashant sit and discuss your political future you may not have the benefit of being winnable in these politics. So do you believe Yogendraji that you still have a political future?

Yogendra Yadav: How does it matter Barkha, that I have a political future or not? These are tiny things. Who would remember us 10-15 years later? What matters is whether that hope that began on Ram Leela Maidan, just remember that, thousands if not lakhs of people in this country for the first time felt that politics and virtue can be brought together. The real question is does that live hereafter? If Prashant and Yogendra are destroyed, finished in this process, how does that matter? I mean honestly, we people have always exaggerated our role in history; the fact is we would be tiny specks. And if someone recounts history does that hope go forward? And if anything, I have much greater resolve than ever before that we need to move forward. Do we have the capacity to be mobilisers? As vote catchers probably not. Better people than me would come up, better than Prashant Bhushan will come up. They will become natural leaders. That's how movement should progress. It's really not about Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra and it's therefore not for them to decide what should be the future course.

NDTV: And how do you finally respond to Ashutosh saying, and I am quoting him here, you were confronted with proof? And he is talking about the sting operation against you and you have to answer, in fact you were ready for disciplinary action and begged Arvind for a graceful exit?

Yogendra Yadav: This is a real cock and bull story. There is an apology letter that they are talking about. Fortunately if there is a copy and I have a copy of that, what was said; you know it was exactly the other way round. When we sat down for discussions, the question of apology came up and I said look, you have been nasty to Prashant and me, more to Prashant than me, we do not want any personal apologies, you and your God knows, but one thing that we must do is that the entire leadership of this party must apologise to all the volunteers and the supporters for the kinds of things that they have done in the last one month. So we must offer a collective apology. They said what would that apology look like, there and then I wrote a draft and said this is what it should look like? It is there in the public domain. If there is problem in reading in Hindi I can do a English translation also. That exactly what it is. The entire leadership of this party offers an apology to its volunteers for their kind of accusations we have made against the senior leaders of this party. Who is offering apology to whom, who is making personal allegations, who was saying that attempts were being made to defeat the party? So If anything that me and Prashantji said, we do not want a personal apology, a collective apology would do for us. That is being turned around now as my apology. I mean this is really the pits. Negotiations do fail, but for the negotiators to then twist it around and do this and they said Arvind Kejriwal, being the National Convener was the block, I mean honestly was it discussed for five seconds? This really makes me feel very sad. Negotiations fail. You can say okay, they were unreasonable, whatever, but for heavens sake lets not twist it, lets not do those things Ashutosh Bhai, because whatever happens we should be able to look into each other's eyes, that's the minimum in any civilised conversation and I really hope my colleagues would keep that up.

NDTV: We'll leave it there. Yogendra Yadav we will be watching the next few weeks, what you and Prashant Bhushan and the volunteers who are with you do next. But for someone who was hesitant about getting into politics this really has been baptism by fire Thank you so much for joining us on The Buck Stops Here.